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Discussion Boards > Teens and Food Allergies

How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi

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I work in a medical office and from time to time when I'm reviewing a patient's medical history I'll see that they have food, medication or insect allergies, with a history of anaphylaxis.  I always address it, and most often when I ask if they carry epinephrine, the answer is "not anymore".

I always give them the talk, but I'm sure they are inwardly rolling their eyes (like the 20 year old PA young woman I saw last night).

What to do with this population segment?  I hope that when he is away at school, my 21 year old always carries, but honestly, who knows?  And how to reach kids who aren't mine?

I honestly don't know.  Apathy is an epidemic.  I have had this conversation with parents of children who don't carry and adults who don't carry for themselves.  I've tried being reasonable, educational, visual, and very rarely used scare tactics.  Honestly, the best trick up my sleeve is the Allerject (Auvi-Q) demonstration.  People seem much more receptive to the new technology and it's more convenient size.  I think I've had more success with that than anything else, oddly enough.  (I even mention to women and girls that they fit ever so nicely in the waistband pocket of their yoga pants, which makes them less of a burden to carry.   Though some of them carry phones in their bras, which I think is gross, but I suppose Allerjects would fit there too.  *shudder*)

Still, it's not something people want to admit to, and not something they want to carry.  All we can do is educate as much as possible.  They have to make the choice on their own. 

This is a tough one.  My DD has had enough reactions in her lifetime that she carries her epis and I don't have to worry about her now in college.  During high school, it was embarrassing for her.  Same with DS.  During our last visit to the allergist, I had the young male allergist talk to DS about carrying, how important it is to always have it, and have TWO epis at all times.  DS was rolling his eyes, but at least the talk was not coming from Mom. 

This doesn't help your situation, however.  Those young adults may be rolling their eyes while you are talking, but maybe a nugget actually sticks in their brains and they think about it. 

I think AuviQ is the answer. I do. Which is why it really makes me mad that insurance companies aren't covering it.

Randomly popping in here. I usually stay down in OT. My insurance company covers Auvi-qs and I think they have coupons online for those who have to pay out of pocket.

I think I'd just help them think it through. What happened during the reaction when you had anaphylaxis? What did you eat? What did you do to treat the reaction? If they carried epi, then "well what would you do if you didn't have epi?" and talk about how delaying can be deadly and how did the reaction feel, etc. Maybe they treated with benadryl and were fine? That would be tougher to sell. I would just keep asking questions--and then what? And then what? Try to get them to see that help may not come in time.

DS always carries his auvis. I sent him to the grocery store 2 minutes away to get a box of spaghetti and he picked up his wallet, phone, and auvis. I think he's gone running without them. (I got him a Running Buddy, but he didn't take it to school with him, so I've used it to hold my phone and keys on bike rides.)


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